CMST 2010 Exam 2[1]

CMST 2010 Exam 2[1] - CMST 2010 Exam 2 Thursday, March 25,...

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Thursday, March 25, 2010 Means of Communication Chapter 4, 5, and 6 Chapter 4: Communicating Verbally Understanding Verbal Symbols Language – a system consisting of verbal symbols and grammar that enables us to engage in meaning making with others Verbal symbols – the words or the vocabulary that make up a language Grammar – a set of rules dictating how words can be combined to make a meaningful message Encoding – putting our thoughts into meaningful language Decoding – developing a thought based on hearing language o Encoding and decoding require an adequate vocabulary and a grasp of the rules of grammar Attributes of Verbal Symbols 1. Words are Symbolic a. Words are arbitrary symbols; there is not a direct relationship between the word and the thing. (For example gato and cat are both symbols for the furry animal.) 2. Language Evolves a. As time passes, some words become out of date and aren’t used any longer. i. Language is susceptible to fads and fashion b. Sometimes words experience a revival period after they had been popular (i.e. “groovy”) c. Sometimes vocabulary changes as a result of social changes i. Using language that is appropriate to a culture’s evolution strengthens a person’s credibility. d. Verbal symbols (words) evolve and their meanings change i. For example, the word “gay” used to refer to being happy and lighthearted and today it is referred to as a sexual identity. e. New emerging vocabulary becomes a mirror to the cultures; for example, “googling” f. Vocabulary reflects the current times i. In 2003, 3,000 new words were added to the Oxford Dictionary of English and the themes they expressed centered on terrorism, technology, and television. 3. Words are Powerful a. The power of words is not intrinsic; it derives from our having agreed to give them power. These agreements change over time. i. For example, the power of words in the English language is illustrated by a study looking at how the phrase think positive affected breast cancer patients. The study found that in general, the phrase sent a message that if you don’t get better it’s because you’re not being positive enough. The phrase then had a great deal of power, often making patients feel responsible for their own illness. b. The fact that people label a word taboo indicates that they think it is highly charged and powerful. i. After a word becomes taboo, it often becomes more powerful. 1. For example, if a family doesn’t say the word “fat” because their daughter has struggled with her weight, when she hears someone use the word “fat,” it may have a greater impact on her and she won’t be able to bring herself to use the word. 4.
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This note was uploaded on 03/15/2011 for the course BLAW 3201 taught by Professor Fry during the Spring '08 term at LSU.

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CMST 2010 Exam 2[1] - CMST 2010 Exam 2 Thursday, March 25,...

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